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SKETCHES

OF THE

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LIFE, WRITINGS, AND OPINIONS

OF

THOMAS JEFFERSON.

WITH

SELECTIONS OF THE MOST VALUABLE PORTIONS OF HIS VOLUMINOUS AND UNRIVALED

PRIVATE CORRESPONDENCE.

BY B. L. RAYNER.

i. Willard Sc

“For I have sworn upon the Altar of God, cternal hostility against cvery

form of tyranny over the mind of man.”—Priv. Corres.

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District of Connecticut, to wit : BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the lwelfth day of June, Anno Domini 1831, Alfred Francis and William Boardman, of the said district, have deposited in this office the title of a book, the title of which is in the words following, to wit: * Sketches of the Life, Writings, and Opinions of 'Thomas Jefferson ; 'with Selections of the most valuable portions of his voluminous and unrivalled Private Correspondence. By B. L. Rayner. For I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.'-P. Corr.."

The right whereof they claim as proprietors in conformity with an act of Congress, entitled " An act to amend the several acts respecting copy rights.”

CHARLES A. INGERSOLL,

Clerk of the District of Connecticut.

ERBATA.Page 34, fifth line from the top, for 1769 read 1765.

372, ninth line from botttom, for thirty-six' read sixteen.

397, third line from top, for • Jay' read Marshal. Note.---Owing to the extension of the volumc about 50 pages beyond what was contemplated, the Appendix is necessarily omitted.

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289774

PREFACE.

+ Connecticut, to wit :

, Thal on the twelfth day of June, Anno Domini 1831, Winam Boardman, of the said district, have deposited in al'a book, the title of which is in the words following, to wit

: Lite, Writings, and Opinions of 'Thomas Jefferson ; 'with Se

valuable portions of his voluminous and unrivalled Private By B. L. Rayner, "For I have sworn upon the altar of God,

inst every form of tyranny over the mind of man.-P. Corr." bi' they claim as proprietors in conformity with an act of Conact io amend the several acts respecting copy rights.”

CHARLES A. INGERSOLL,

Clerk of the District of Connecticut.

th line from the top, for · 1769' read 1765. nth line from bolitom, for thirty-sixread sixteen. id line from top, for Jay' read Marshal.

The materials for this volume are principally derived from the posthumnous works of Mr. Jefferson himself, lately published by his grandson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph. These works were received with extraordinary approbation by one great portion of the public, as was the

case, indeed, with every thing that ever came from that remarkable man; and by another considerable portion, with a corresponding degree of dissatisfaction, always to be expected from the well known opinions of the Author on certain fundamental points of principle, and the strongly marked division of public sentiment on those points.

These works extend through four large octavo volumes, of about 500 pages each ; nearly the whole of which is occupied with the Correspondence of the Author, public and private. In the first volume is an auto-memoir of about ninety pages, exhibiting a brief outline of the first forty-seven years only of the Author's life, and terminating, unfortunately, at the precise epoch when his history began to assume the highest importance. It appears in the rough form of 'memoranda and recollections of dates and facts,' taken simply as he states, “for his own more ready reference, and for the information of his family.' Besides containing many interesting notices of his personal and family history, the Memcir is enriched by many important particulars relating to the origin and early stages of the Revolution, and the establishment of the Republic ; by the Debates in Congress on the great question of Independence, with the historical circumstances attending the preparation and adoption of that memorable instrument; and by a narrative, interspersed with sage political reflections, of the causes and early course of the French Revolution, as exhibited to the observation of the Author, during his diplomatic residence at Paris. This portion of the work derives peculiar value from the circumstance of its containing the first disclosure to the world, in an authentic form, of the Debates on the memorable occasion of Independence, and from the probability, or rather certainty, that a like knowledge of them is not to be expected from any other source. Appended to the Memoir, or within the body of it, are a variety of ancient productions of Mr. Jefferson, which will be new to most readers. Among them are, a paper drawn up in 1774, as instructions to the Delegates in Congress from Virginia, being the first formal enunciation of the political doctrines

: extension of the volume about 50 pages beyond what Appendix is necessarily omitted.

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